For Immediate Release
September 25, 2008
CONTACT: Steve Merritt
Public Information Officer
Montana Department ofLivestock
MDOL Seeks Public Comment on Draft Brucellosis Action Plan
The Montana Department of Livestock has released a draft Brucellosis Action Plan to help the state regain its Brucellosis Class Free status. The plan is open for public comment through October 10.
State veterinarian Dr. Martin Zaluski presented the plan, which was created with input from a diverse group of stakeholders, to the Board of Livestock earlier this week.
“It’s absolutely critical for producers that Brucellosis Class Free status as quickly as possible, and we hope the draft plan is a step in the right direction,” Zaluski said. “We encourage livestock producers to thoroughly evaluate and comment on the draft plan.”
The plan, which is required by the USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service for reinstatement of class free status, defines management areas for the state and outlines strategies for each area based on the level of risk:
- Area 1 – Special Focus Area (elevated exposure potential);
- Area 2 – Assurance Area (minimal or no exposure potential);
- Area 3 – Area of No/Unlikely Exposure Potential.
“We’re most concerned about cattle commingling with brucellosis-positive wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) ,” Zaluski said. “Obviously, management strategies are more intensive in Area 1 where the highest risk exists.”
The draft plan, complete with maps and a Frequently Asked Questions sheet, is available on the department’s web site at http://liv.mt.gov/. Copies of the plan also will be available at livestock markets throughout the state, and from producer groups that participated in creating the draft plan (Montana Cattleman’s Association, Montana Stockgrowers Association, Montana Farm Bureau and Montana Farmers Union).
Public comment on the draft plan can be submitted via email to MDOLplancomments@mt.gov, or via postal mail to Department of Livestock, Draft Brucellosis Plan Comments, PO BOX 202001, Helena MT 59620-2001.